It seems my life has come full circle.
Last week, I shared a story about finding a helpless baby crow/raven/black thing and how it challenged my view of parenthood.
And as of yesterday, that’s all been flipped on its head again. By another winged creature.
(Is my life secretly a Darren Aronofsky film?)
June and summertime are here in full force. TIME FOR NOMMING ALL THE FRESH STRAWBABIES!!!
Last summer, I caught the last 3 weeks of Driediger Farm’s berry season. I worked my butt off sorting berries, weighing berries, selling berries, standing in fields making sure other people properly picked the berries without STRAYING INTO THE GOSHDARN PARTS OF THE FIELD THAT ARE VERY OBVIOUSLY TAPED OFF FOR A REASON.
It was really fun.
I was overjoyed when they hired me back this summer, for the entire season. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries galore. Juice-stained fingers and happy smiles and puppies.
I got paid to do this for 10 minutes yesterday.
Did I say this story was about a bird? That’s weird.
For approximately one hour of our shift, we go out to the fields with a cold water bottle (and a black umbrella if it’s really a scorcher) to walk up and down the rows, making sure all the berries are getting picked and the customers are happy.
Yesterday, I’d been fielding for 20 minutes, when I saw one of my co-workers walking towards me, holding a blue strawberry carton in one hand and covering the top with her other hand.
“Hey Carly, I’ve got something for you!”
I was excited. I thought maybe it was an ice cream bar we couldn’t sell because the wrapper tore prematurely, and she was protecting it until it got to me.
“Some customers found him flopping around half-flying on the road, and we DON’T know where he came from, and we DON’T want him to get hurt, but we CAN’T have him in the market. Can you watch him until we figure this out, and make sure he doesn’t fly towards the road?”
So I held the box very delicately as I walked gently through the fields. He chirped constantly. Bro was MAD.
And then he started getting ballsy.
He tried to fly off of my hand into the trees and ended up just flopping into the field and squawking. It was pretty pathetic. I very quietly and subtly chased after him, saying, “No, precious! It’s not safe! Come back to me. GET IN THE BOOOOXXXX!!!”
We did this for a couple rounds. No one else in the field even noticed, so consumed were they in the passionate hunt for strawberries.
The third time he left the box, he fluttered onto my shoulder. Everything so happened so fast after that.
From my shoulder, he decided that my hair looked like it would make a nice nest, so he hopped onto my noggin and declared it HIS with much pomp and deliberation.
My feelings were a little muddled.
And then…(what I can only assume was) the MOTHER showed up.
She was flapping. She was dive-bombing. She was swarming. If her mouth hadn’t been bursting with fat, green worms, she would have been screaming motherly obscenities at me.
Now. I like birds. I really do. But if they start to do that flappy-screamy-possibly peck your eyes out business near my face, I always very calmly try to GTFO as quickly as possible.
I called my co-worker. “Baby bird is stuck on my head, and its mother found me, I’m pretty sure she’s angry, and Idon’tknowwhattodoHAYULLPP.”
She rushed across the field. Mother Bird gave up on me for a moment and soared into the nearest tree. Probably spewing out those worms to save room for my eyes.
Gracious Co-Worker untangled Baby Bird from my head, and he took off – as was his habit.
But this time — I kid you NOT — Mother Bird and another Bird swooped down on either side of Baby and helped him FLY into the nearest tree.
I don’t know if I almost passed out because my Personal Nightmare was over, or because I was pretty sure I’d just witnessed a Miracle of Nature.
And STILL, the berry pickers never noticed a THING.
It’s gonna be a good summer, my darlings. A gooooooood summer.